President Muhammadu Buhari has called for collaborative efforts among nations to fight human trafficking and smuggling of persons.
Buhari made the call at the 16th INTERPOL Conference on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling on Monday in Abuja.
He was represented by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Service Office, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“Human trafficking requires our collective efforts to eradicate which destroying the future of our youths,” he said.
The President said that Nigeria was among the first set of countries to domesticate United Nations relevant protocols on trafficking in persons and smuggling of persons.
Buhari said that the protocols were at various times domesticated, resulting in the country’s enactment of the trafficking in persons prohibition law enforcement Act and eradication Act 2003 and the 1963 Immigration Act.
He said that the Immigration act empowered the service to combat the smuggling of migrants.
The president said that the country had recorded a landmark in the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
He said that the collaborative efforts of the country’s security agencies had resulted in several interceptions, arrest and prosecution and conviction of 359 traffickers and smugglers.
He urged the INTERPOL and relevant agencies to deepen already established collaboration in order to combat this modern day slavery to a stand still.
Buhari said that collaborative efforts across the international borders would go a long way to identify, arrest and prosecute traffickers and smugglers in their countries of origin.
He called on the INTERPOL to consider Abuja, Nigeria for the location of the proposed Strategic Service Centre.
“Nigeria is ready to play host to the centre and we will avail you with all the necessary assistance within the provisions of the law,” he said.
The president said that unless the country fight corruption, the little resources budgeted for development would be stolen by few elites, exposing the youths to poverty and becoming vulnerable to trafficking and smuggling.
He said that INTERPOL had launched a platform consisting of 110 countries and 150 specialists from immigration, customs and investigative units to exchange information.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 500 participants from 70 countries are attending the conference.
NAN also reports that more than 500 specialists from security agencies, non governmental and international organisations, public and private sectors are also participating.
( NAN )